What is Optifast?

The OPTIFAST weight loss program combines meal replacement products with physician supervision, lifetype and nutrition counseling and exercise training. The meal replacement products are designed to replace all or part of your existing diet plan, making it easier to follow a low-calorie diet while reducing hunger.

OPTIFAST meal replacement products are only available through a physician and must be used under the guidance of your weight loss specialist. The length of an OPTIFAST program depends on the amount of weight that has to be lost as well as other medical and environmental factors that will be discussed with you by your weight loss doctor.

On average, participants in the OPTIFAST weight loss program lose about 52 pounds.*

What are Meal Replacements?

The OPTIFAST program is a meal replacement plan. This means that all or most of your existing diet will be replaced with the OPTIFAST products. These products are low in calories but are nutritionally rich, providing you with all of the nutritional support you will need to maintain proper health while reducing your calorie intake.

The OPTIFAST weight loss program can be followed as a full or partial meal replacement plan. During the partial meal replacement plan, OPTIFAST products will replace most meals and snacks, but you will be permitted to eat one well-balanced meal comprised of traditional whole foods.

OPTIFAST meal replacement products include:

  • Protein shakes in several flavors, including chocolate, vanilla and strawberry
  • Soup mixes in chicken or tomato flavors
  • Meal bars in several flavors, including chocolate, peanut butter and yogurt berry.

About the OPTIFAST program

Along with the meal replacement products, the weight loss team at Island Health and Weight Loss will provide you with ongoing guidance and support that will help you to lose weight.

This includes lifestyle education and counseling that will often incorporate:

  • Exercise training
  • Nutritional counseling
  • Behavior modification
  • Stress management

You and your weight loss doctor will determine the ideal length of your OPTIFAST program. The program will then be split into three phases: the active stage, transition stage and maintenance stage. The active phase is the initial period during which you will lose the most weight.

During the active stage of the OPTIFAST program, many people lose about two to three pounds per week.

After several weeks of steady weight loss you will shift into the transition stage and begin to gradually reintroduce normal foods into your diet. The final maintenance stage is ongoing. During the maintenance stage, you will continue to receive the support of your weight loss doctor, incorporate the skills you learned and use the OPTIFAST products as needed to maintain the weight loss you achieved.

*Wadden TA, et al. A multicenter evaluation of a proprietary weight loss program for the treatment of marked obesity: A five year follow-up. Int J East Disord. 1997; 22:203-212.